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Tributes to Dartford Destroyer Dave Charnley

Dartford Destroyer Dave Charnley (right) fights Peter Waterman

by Jamie Bullen

A former British boxing champion hailed as the best to come from Kent has died.

Dave Charnley - known as the Dartford Destroyer - died at his West Malling home on Friday night aged 76 after suffering a short illness.

He learned to box in a scout hall in Little Queen Street, Dartford, and went on to become the British, Commonwealth and European lightweight champion.

Dave Charnley
Dave Charnley

He twice fought for the world title, but lost on a points decision in his second bout to Joe 'Old Bones' Brown in Earl's Court in 1961.

Former boxers have paid tribute to Mr Charnley, who was regarded as one of the finest fighters never to win a world title.

Jonny Anderson, 77, of the London Ex-Boxers' Association, said he was the best boxer to come from Kent.

Mr Anderson said: "Davey was a wonderful fighter and a really lovely guy.

"He was a quiet man, he did not put himself about. We used to drink in the same pub in Bermondsey.

"I was at the fight at Earl's Court and Dave Charnley won the last five rounds. I asked the referee after how he didn't win."

After the ring, Mr Charnley opened a hair salon in Spital Street, Dartford, and became a property developer.

In September, boxing fan and retired police officer Jim Kirkwood, from Scotland, penned a book detailing the career of Mr Charnley.

The Dartford Destroyer: The Life and Career of Dave Charnley was launched in Dartford on Saturday, September 3. 

Post your tributes to Dave Charnley below. For a fullobituary, pick up a copy of this week's Dartford Messenger onThursday.

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